What if you could combine the process and task management activities of a BPM system, a CRM system and a Knowledge Worker system into a single solution that integrates with the tools you use daily?
ActionBase claims to be such as system, providing "human process management" tightly integrated with the tools you can't pull yourself away from: MS Office and SharePoint. The solution provides process and task management inside your email, MS Office or SharePoint implementation allowing you to manage daily activities easily without going to different systems.
At a high level it enables the following:
- Action item management
- Follow up over actions and any subsequent actions
- Fully documentation and audit trail
- Execution based on defined processes and procedures
- Compliance with regulations
Let's take a look at how ActionBase integrates with Microsoft solutions.
ActionBase for Office
How much time do you spend in your email, sharing documents, reviewing emails loaded with actions for you to look after?
ActionMail is a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook. It adds an ActionBox folder to Outlook that contains all the actions. This is the primary work environment for ActionBase users. Within the ActionBox have "collaborative" emails that tie together all relevant information such as updates, files, status of each subsequent action and full history and audit trail.
Different action email templates can be built, similar to building email templates to enable users to add unstructured information as well.
ActionBase for Outlook
ActionDocs is a plug-in for MS Office and works for Word, Excel and PDF documents. It enables a user to open a document, mark it up with metadata, assign actions and say who owns that action. This automatically kicks off an ActionMail that shows either the entire document or just the relevant snippet (if the person doesn't have full permission for the entire document) and the action required.
Document owners can then open the document later and see the status of assigned actions. In addition reports can be run that show the status of all actions assigned. Reports are run in either Excel or SharePoint.
ActionBase for SharePoint
The ActionBase premise is that even when using group collaboration tools like SharePoint, there is still a lot of emailing that happens. So ActionBase for SharePoint incorporates a number of capabilities:
- ActionDocs can be stored within SharePoint, this maintaining both the documents and their associated processes.
- A web part links ActionMail and SharePoint, kicking off an Action mail. You can then view the ActionMail in either Outlook or SharePoint. Related items can also be created, managed and monitored within SharePoint directly.
- Activities can be managed for an entire group.
- Dashboards and reports can be displayed, including drill down into the details of each ActionBase item.
You can see the possibilities for a solution like ActionBase, particularly when it comes to managing actions coming out of documents such as board meeting minutes, project management updates, contracts and incident management documents. These are all ad hoc, unstructured processes that involve different people depending on the situation.
ActionBase consists of an ActionBase Server and the required plug-ins for Outlook, Office and SharePoint. The company is based in Israel and offers its solution in multiple languages including German, English and Hebrew.
There is a hosted version that is mostly used as a trial. However, the company says that many organizations still view email as integral to business and prefer to keep it in-house.
ActionBase has been tested and found to support both Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010.